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J Immunol. 1999 May 1;162(9):5351-8.

HLA class I-mediated induction of cell proliferation involves cyclin E-mediated inactivation of Rb function and induction of E2F activity.

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Department of Pathology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York 10032, USA.


Chronic rejection of transplanted organs is manifested as atherosclerosis of the blood vessels of the allograft. HLA class I Ags have been implicated to play a major role in this process, since signaling via HLA class I molecules can induce the proliferation of aortic endothelial as well as smooth muscle cells. In this study, we show that HLA class I-mediated induction of cell proliferation correlates with inactivation of the Rb protein in the T cell line Jurkat as well as human aortic endothelial cells. HLA class I-mediated inactivation of Rb can be inhibited specifically by neutralizing Abs to basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), suggesting a role for FGF receptors in the signaling process. Signaling through HLA class I molecules induced cyclin E-associated kinase activity within 4 h in quiescent endothelial cells, and appeared to mediate the inactivation of Rb. A cdk2 inhibitor, Olomoucine, as well as a dominant-negative cdk2 construct prevented HLA class I-mediated inactivation of Rb; in contrast, dominant-negative cdk4 and cdk6 constructs had no effect. Furthermore, there was no increase in cyclin D-associated kinase activity upon HLA class I ligation, suggesting that cyclin E-dependent kinase activity mediates Rb inactivation, leading to E2F activation and cell proliferation.

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